Troyota – 1964 Triumph TR4

Toyota 22rThere’s no denying that driving one of the great old British sports cars (MG, Healey, Lotus, etc.) is a fun experience, but actual ownership of these machines can be somewhat of a headache. There’s rust, there’s the parts hunt, and of course there’s the mysterious odors and smokes. The weak spot is often the engine. After all, many are over fifty years old and of a design that dates back to World War II or even earlier, so they require more TLC than the modern motorist is used to. Some people are now addressing this, making life a little easier and driving a little more entertaining by taking their old British sports cars and installing more modern motors from the country that helped kill off the classic British sports car in the first place: Japan.

It’s not a common practice, but every now and then you will see a Healey with a Datsun Z-Car motor, an old Mini with VTEC Honda power or, in the case of the Midget we featured last month, an MG with Nissan stamped under the hood. This Triumph TR4, located in Grants Pass, Oregon, is from the same camp and gets its power from Toyota. Specifically, the engine is a carbureted version of Toyota’s 2.4 liter 22R, and although it won’t make a whole lot more power than the old Ferguson-tractor based TR4 motor, it will surely be easier to keep running, and the matching Toyota 5-speed probably won’t hurt in the fun department, either. And since this ’64 TR4 was never a fantastically preserved or painstakingly restored Concours car, the Japanese heart transplant will be a little less offensive to the purist.

Recent work on the car includes recently rebuilt front brakes and a fairly new convertible top, but a few of the little things do need looking at. At the end of the day, the car is still almost fifty years old. Setting a value on these things is difficult since there’s such a narrow market, but the seller seems to be honest about the car’s smaller issues and doesn’t look to be trying to get top dollar. If the idea of a car like this appeals to you, this might be your chance to get a Troyota in your life.

Check out the 1964 Triumph TR4 here on eBay, where bidding has reached $2,800.

Comments

  1. I never knew the engine to be a reliability problem with the TRs, just the goofy Lucas electrics and in the case of a 1960 TR3 that I once owned, the adjustable steering column splines rounded off which I discovered at 45 mph in traffic…a memorable moment. Great cars that sound really great with the old Ferguson tractor motor and maybe not so much so with anything else under the bonnet.

  2. Well said, Chuck. I seriously doubt that Toyota makes a noise anywhere near as nice as the original Triumph motor.

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